In-form jockey Matt McGillivray is happy to forego the ride on Crack Me Up in the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday week even if the pair combine for another win at Doomben this weekend.
McGillivray and the Liam Birchley trained Crack Me Up combined to win the Listed $100,000 Recognition Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on November 25 and the pair will team up again this Saturday in the Listed $100,000 Brisbane Handicap (1600m).
McGillivray is currently third in the Brisbane jockey’s premiership on twenty-five wins behind Jeff Lloyd (37 wins) and Robbie Fradd (35.5 wins) and has knocked back the ride on Crack Me Up in the Villiers Stakes, electing to stay in Brisbane to keep his winning momentum going.
“I am very grateful to the owners for sticking with me this weekend and for understanding my reasons not to go to Sydney,” McGillivray told The Courier-Mail.
“I am still establishing myself here in Brisbane and am still very much the new kid on the block.
‘‘I feel it’s important at the moment to show loyalty to the people who are supporting me week in, week out here.”
Crack Me Up has drawn barrier four in the fifteen horse Brisbane Handicap field and Birchley is not worried about backing up the four year old in the Villiers Stakes in a week.
“It’s just the way the program fell,” Birchley said.
“The only way to avoid that would have been to go to Sydney earlier and I didn’t want to do that.”
Recognition Stakes third placegetter Hopfgarten will clash again with Crack Me Up in the Brisbane Handicap and will be ridden by Adelaide’s leading jockey Jamie Kah who will be riding at Doomben as part for the South Australian Origin Jockey Series team.
Hopfgarten has drawn barrier seven with Ron Stewart to ride while top weight Rudy, who has been lumped with 60kg, will jump from gate six with Michael Cahill in the saddle.
Final field for the 2017 Brisbane Handicap (1600m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||34353251×5||RUDY||Helen Page||Michael Cahill||6||60kg||106|
|2||8x2908x163||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Ron Stewart||7||59kg||104|
|3||0910205×47||SIR MOMENTS||Steven O’dea||Damian Browne||15||58.5kg||103|
|4||2x40211x21||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Liam Birchley||Matthew McGillivray||4||56.5kg||99|
|5||70×6162416||FRESPANOL||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||14||56.5kg||99|
|6||381310×280||CANTBUYBETTER||Ben Currie||Ms Jamie Kah||3||54kg||93|
|7||428230×694||TOO GOOD TO REFUSE||Desleigh Forster||Dwayne Dunn||12||54kg||93|
|8||5148×55115||URBAN KNIGHT||Darryl Hansen||Luke Tarrant||8||54kg||90|
|9||9530107×00||KAISER FRANZ (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Clare Lindop||2||54kg||89.5|
|10||15x38117x0||BRAZEN MOSS||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||11||54kg||89|
|11||70920×8326||EMPHASIS||Richie Stephenson||Larry Cassidy||9||54kg||88|
|12||34007×2713||ZAHSPEED||Toby Edmonds||Tegan Harrison||13||54kg||85|
|13||213x2361x5||SAN TELMO||Garry Smith||James Orman||5||54kg||83|
|14||100248×090||FRIENDLY DRAGON||Les Ross||–||10||54kg||82|
|15||97×5600000||BODEGA NEGRA||Bruce Hill||Paul Hammersley||1||54kg||76.5|